Years ago, long before we were growing mums commercially, the first pop of color in the late summer garden confirmed that summer was almost over. Shorter days and cooler nights were bringing summer flowers to their knees as they prepared for winter’s slumber, but rising above those fading blooms came the riotous yellow, orange, red, pink and purple mounds of mums. My garden’s final salute to summer and a reminder to enjoy every sunny, blue sky day left before the dark, dreary days of November.
Maybe it’s because my birthday is in November, but I’ve always looked forward to fall. I enjoy the changing seasons, the predictable rhythm of harvest, back to school, football games, bonfires, sweaters and jeans. But predictable just flew out the window in 2020 as a pandemic took hold and gripped the world with fear.
From a personal standpoint my biggest fear in March was that we had greenhouses loaded with plants that very possibly we wouldn’t be allowed to market, or that people just wouldn’t come out to purchase. Well, were we surprised! We had our best spring ever for sales, and our most exhausting spring ever for keeping up with demand. We closed three weeks earlier than usual because we were out of plants!
What caused this unexpected flower frenzy? People had been cooped up since mid March, their vacation plans had been dashed so why not spruce up the yard and get out in the fresh air? Not only do flowers provide hope, joy and comfort in good times and in bad, they’re predictable. They are oblivious to pandemics and provide a certain normalcy to our daily lives as we care for them.
Mums have always been a popular flower because it’s nature’s last hurrah as we linger a little longer with beautiful, living plants before enduring a long, dreary winter. Judging from the phone calls, texts and messages I’ve received the past couple of weeks wanting to know when the mums will be ready it appears people are looking forward to fresh flowers. This year mums will once again grace us with a few more weeks of color, and more importantly, normalcy, in these still uncertain times.
August 21st is the opening day for our fall season. Follow me into the next blog as I explain the difference between early, midseason and late blooming mums and how to care for them.
May all your days be filled with flowers,